News release

University Funding, Lower Student Costs Announced

The cost of a university education is going down in Nova Scotia.

A new funding agreement between the province and universities will freeze tuition at current levels for the next three years. And a student bursary will reduce the cost for students attending Nova Scotia universities.

A memorandum of understanding, signed by Education Minister Karen Casey and Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents chairman Tom Traves, sets out a schedule of increased funding to universities, designed to meet operational costs and eliminate tuition increases for all students over the next three years.

In addition to the tuition freeze, a $66-million Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Trust is being established to further make the cost of education more affordable for Nova Scotia and out-of-province Canadian students.

The bursary and funding agreement will bring the cost of education borne by Nova Scotia students attending a Nova Scotia university to the national tuition average by 2010-11.

"These measures will make a university education affordable for more Nova Scotians," said Ms. Casey. "At the same time, we are helping to ensure Nova Scotia universities remain attractive to students from outside the province."

For Nova Scotians, the bursary will provide a maximum per-student benefit of $761 in 2008-09, $1,022 in 2009-10 and $1,283 in 2010-11.

Canadian students from outside Nova Scotia will benefit from the tuition freeze and a bursary of $261 in 2010-11.

Over the next three years, the province will spend $180 million to increase direct funding to universities and eliminate tuition increases. Available funding to the university sector will increase by $30 million per year from $258.7 million in 2007-08 to $348.7 million in 2010-11.

The agreement also takes steps to address student fees and other issues that may arise during the life of the agreement.

"This agreement is a significant accomplishment and the result of much hard work," said Mr. Traves.

"The memorandum of understanding helps ensure that the province's university sector continues to deliver high-quality, nationally competitive programs and that the overall student experience at Nova Scotia's universities remains attractive and accessible to students here at home, from across Canada and from around the world."

The memorandum of understanding has been in negotiation since early December. The negotiation committee included representatives from universities, students and government.

The current three-year agreement expires today, March 31.

More than 42,000 students attend university in Nova Scotia. The province's 11 universities are a $1-billion industry, providing 7,500 direct and 17,500 indirect jobs.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The cost of a university education is going down in Nova Scotia.

A new funding agreement between the province and universities will freeze tuition at current levels for the next three years. And a student bursary will reduce the cost for students attending Nova Scotia universities.

A memorandum of understanding, signed by Education Minister Karen Casey and Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents chairman Tom Traves, sets out a schedule of increased funding to universities, designed to meet operational costs and eliminate tuition increases for all students over the next three years. A $66-million Nova Scotia University Student Bursary Fund is also being established to further make the cost of education more affordable for Nova Scotia and out-of-province Canadian students.

The bursary and funding agreement will bring the cost of education borne by Nova Scotia students attending a Nova Scotia university to the national tuition average by 2010-11.

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Media Contact:

Dan Harrison
Department of Education 902-424-3150 E-mail: